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Work Life Balance as a Worship Leader

Kade Young
Kade Young
Chief Audio Guru

Do you struggle with the balance between home life and leading worship? Chances are, you even have to throw a day job in the mix.

We live in a culture that recognizes people for overworking themselves. We praise those who are always connected and respond to our text messages and emails right away. In this connected age, it gets harder and harder to create balance between life and work.

Some would argue that there is no need to balance life and work - after all, work is a part of life. This sure sounds good, especially for work-a-holics, but it is not biblical. In the Bible, we are instructed to take one full day every week to completely separate ourselves from work. I wonder how many of us are actually doing this?

Can leading worship even be classified as ‘work’?

When it comes to leading worship, many would argue that it cannot be classified as work…it is a calling. In reality, it is a calling and work.

There are many dangers of taking ‘work' out of worship leading:

  1. Laziness takes root with the idea that being led by the Holy Spirit means that we do not have to prepare.
  2. Serving at church becomes more important than serving our family.
  3. The worship team becomes dysfunctional because the worship leader is dysfunctional.

Don’t get me wrong. I believe worship leading is a special call from God and should be honored as such. But, this does not mean it should consume all of our time. Actually, we honor God by finding ways to make the ‘work’ of leading worship as efficient as possible.

How to Keep it all in Balance

Let’s take a look at a basic list of life priorities (in order).

  1. Relationship with God (studying the Word, praying, listening, etc)
  2. Personal Growth (learning new things, exercising, eating healthy, etc)
  3. Relationship with Family (giving them your undivided attention)
  4. Everything else (work, serving at church, hobbies, etc)

Once leading worship has been put in its proper place in your life, it enables you to keep your life in balance. It gives you the freedom to say no to an extra rehearsal and instead simplify the upcoming service and spend the extra time with your family.

You no longer have to tell your family that leading worship is more important than spending time with them. You no longer have to let your health fail because you are spending 20+ hours per week leading worship on top of your full time job.

You are in control of your time.

Bottom line, you are in control of your time. Others will control it, but only if you let them. Your pastor may even try to control your time, but he has to have your permission.

Here’s the best advice I can give you. When you are at work, give yourself 100% to work. When you are leading worship, give yourself 100% to leading worship. When you are at home, give yourself 100% to family. This means that you ignore all those notifications on your phone and wait to check them until you are back at work.

I am still working on this myself. Actually, I work from home (which makes work/life balance even harder), but I am determined to make it happen. My family deserves it.

Next Step: Become More Efficient

The next step is to make the work of leading worship more efficient. If you can spend less time getting the same (or maybe even a better) result, wouldn’t you do it? Here are a few posts to get you started:

5 Tips for the Bivocational Worship Leader

How to Increase Productivity During Worship Team Practice

How to Get Away from Mid-Week Rehearsal


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4 comments on “Work Life Balance as a Worship Leader”

  1. yes. i am struggling with this balance - to the point that my spouse is resenting the worship team as a result. i work as a real estate agent, i volunteer in the worship team on sound and music, lead worship, and have a spouse.... my priorities have been; worship, spouse, work. i love my church; i say yes to almost everything to the point that everything else suffers. how do i fix it ?

    1. Hey Richard - I totally get it. It's easy to feel that church should be the most important thing. But, if we put it in the wrong place in our lives, it can very easily destroy our witness.

      If we are at church all the time, but our family is falling apart, what does that say about Christianity? If we say yes to everything the church needs but our health suffers because we're over-committed, what does that say about Christianity?

      It's time to set some boundaries. My default answer when people ask me to do something is "no". And the reason is, when I say "yes" to one thing, I am saying "no" to something else. And I need time to think through that before I give someone a "yes".

      With your wife, decide a reasonable amount of time you want to spend at church each week. And let it be a hard boundary. Say no to everything that doesn't fit.

  2. This was a very timely article for me. I am continually trying to figure out how to have that balance so my wife, kids and health don’t pay the price. I’m finding that asking for help from other co-volunteers and accepting the help when it’s offered is important. I can’t do it all myself, which is my default mode. Thank you for the work you’re doing to support and encourage us Kade!

    1. Great to hear! I also default to a "do it yourself" mindset. But over the years, I've found that team is much more fulfilling with the benefit of escaping burnout. Win-win!

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